An American citizen was arrested beneath the Saudi counterterrorism legislation this morning in Riyadh and accused of “defaming the repute of the state or the king” after refusing a proposal from a Saudi prince to commerce his spouse for a herd of 45 camels.
59-year previous Karim Najibullah, a Ford Motor Firm govt from Dearborn in Michigan, and his 27-year previous Saudi spouse Aliyah, spent the final two weeks visiting her household within the metropolis of Abha, positioned within the south-western a part of the dominion.
On Wednesday, the couple was invited to a marriage reception the place a number of members of the royal household have been additionally current, together with Prince Khalid bin Abdullah Al Saud, a well-known horse and camel breeder with a herd together with some uncommon specimens worths over 2 million riyals ($533,300) every.
Through the reception, Prince Khalid tried to barter the acquisition of Mr. Najibullah’s spouse by providing a number of of his prized animals, however the American repeatedly declined the prince’s affords.
When the couple tried to take their airplane again to U.S. this morning, they have been arrested by the Saudi police. Mr. Najibullah was taken into police custody, whereas the whereabouts of his spouse stay unknown.
The Minister of Justice and President of Supreme Judicial Council, Sheikh Walid bin Mohammed Al-Samaani, justified the arrest and known as for an exemplary sentence towards Mr. Najibullah.
“The Prince was extraordinarily beneficiant, providing 45 camels value a minimum of 30 million riyals ($eight million) for a lady that was hardly value 1 / 4 of that.”
Refusing any demand from a member of the royal household is a critical crime for Saudi residents, however solely 7 Individuals have ever been sentenced for such crimes. In accordance with Sheikh Al-Samaani, the accused didn’t merely refuse, however “insulted and defamed the prince and the dominion”
“Not solely did he have the vanity to rudely decline, however he didn’t even thank the prince for his benevolence and generosity. That is an insult to the crown.”
Mr. Najibullah faces some extraordinarily critical accusations and could possibly be sentenced to harsh corporal punishment, together with public lashings, prolonged jail phrases, and even demise.
The U.S. State Division confirmed that an envoy has been dispatched to Riyadh to aim to barter his liberation, however didn’t give extra particulars.